PRODUCT DIFFRENTIATION & CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
Product differentiation means uniqueness. How the product we offer is unique to our competitors. In other words, our product is unique or different from the competitors to provide more customer satisfaction or customer happiness as compared to the existing competitors. Customer satisfaction and customer satisfaction are two different things that we will discuss in the next article. In brief, a satisfied customer easily can be switched over to the competitor’s product as compared to a happy customer. Happy customers make up the brand loyalty of the product. Marketers are trying their best to build the maximum brand loyalty to the product. By increasing the number of brand loyal products the companies are generating a huge amount of revenue. For example Surf Excel (detergent powder) by Lever Brothers, Glaxoes-D by Glaxo Laboratories, Baby lotion by Johnson & Johnson, etc
Therefore the brand loyal products generate high revenue for the companies. Product differentiation helps companies to make strategies that lead to customer satisfaction, customer happiness, and ultimately brand loyalty. Product differentiation also allows the companies to fight in the market based on other factors (like product features, Distribution, Promotion, etc) without the pricing factor. It also provides a competitive advantage to the firms. Besides this product differentiation leads to generating new product categories which helps to grow the standard of life. Microsoft Windows versions are the best example of product differentiation (By adding some unique features in the coming version). Moreover, it not only increases sales and market share but also boosts the company’s image and goodwill.
Product Differentiation With Features:
Many kinds of uniqueness or differences can be made in a product from others like Unique ingredients or formula
Design Many companies differentiate their product by changing the design of the product. For example new design of cutlery etc
Styles– Something new or different from old like a new hairstyle, new style of garments, new styles of glasses, etc.
Product Features– Products are differentiated by adding new features to the product for the value of the customer. For example, Glaxo Laboratories first introduced Betnsol drops for the treatment of the inflammation of the ear nose and throat then introduced Betnesol –N drop with an addition of an antibiotic Neomycin which also protects the ear nose, and throat from bacterial infection in addition to inflammation.
Packaging not only contains and protects the product but also makes the identification of the product. Good packing also creates a positive image in the mind of the customer. Mobile Phone packing is a beautiful example of packing.
Quality/technology improvement to make product differentiation leads to the improvement of the quality of the products. The advancement of technology makes product differentiation easy resulting in improved quality of life.
Product Differentiation With Benefits
Customer’s experience– Customer experience and reaction or feedback play an important role in product differentiation. Customer reviews provide guidelines for marketers to convert the product to the customer’s satisfaction to entire satisfaction to the ultimate customer’s happiness.
Service after sales– Number of companies providing the services after sales to make their products more unique. The main objective is to provide maximum customer satisfaction as compared to their competitors so that their offering attracts more customers because of their unique service.
Free installation– Free installation of the product at the desired location of the customer is also an important factor of product differentiation. Free installation by the expert technical person causes the satisfaction of the customer and leads to creating a positive image in the minds of customers.
Manufacture’s prestige-Usually companies keep the price low in the market to increase sales and market share. But in such a situation company charges a higher price with limited production and limited outlets and tries to build the highest quality image and uniqueness of the product.
Mode of distribution– The marketer makes the product differentiation by choosing the appropriate mode of distribution. By lowering the production and selecting the specific outlets product image can be built by charging the higher price. Otherwise keeping the price low a massive outlets can be used.
Availability – The easiest way to the availability of the product can also differentiate it from the competitors. Home delivery of pizza on telephone call within the shortest possible time is an example of product diffrentiation.
Reliability – It is the probability of success of a product or equipment to perform its function satisfactorily for a given time under normal conditions. The product shows satisfaction at the initial stage but later on, after a short time, its performance decreases because of certain reasons means its reliability is lower than its expectations. Therefore the the reliability of a product is vital in product differentiation. The marketer gets the data/information to know about the low performance of the product in a given time and evaluate the results of the failure of the products. For the satisfaction of the customers to minimize the threat of low reliability of the product the marketer offers the money-back guarantee or warranty of the product replacement etc.
Cost also discussed earlier plays an important role in product differentiation.
Access online offline- Because of the increasing use of the internet, online purchase offering by the market is a factor in increasing customer satisfaction resulting to creat the uniqueness of the product/service.
Moreover, mode of payment, one-to-one customer contact, salesperson expertise, quality of service, social media engagement, and customer relation management are also important factors for product differentiation by the firms.
Moreover, In service differentiation following factors play a vital role factors
By easy order processing
- Customer’s training
- Customer’s counseling
- Maintenance and repair